On Wuqoof-e-Qalbi(Vigilance of the heart)


وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

(And those who strive for us- We will surely guide them to our ways. And indeed Allah is with the doers of good.)    [29:69]


 Wuqoof e qalbi (Vigilance of the Heart) means to remember Allah Almighty  all the time. This word, “wuqoof “ comes from the word “waqf” which means “To Pause”.

So, Wuqoof e qalbi means to pause the  heart; to maintain ones heart; to still-stop the heart on the remembrance of Allah Almighty – to not let the heart deviate; to not let it go astray into the thoughts of Ghayr ullahه (anyone other than Allah Almighty) but to pause the heart on the remembrance of Allah Almighty.

Allah Almighty has given us this ability that if we want to, we can keep something in our heart at all times – we can keep a thought running in our background at all times.

E.g.

1. If someone’s wife tells him to go  get vegetables from the market, and he goes to the market but on the way he finds a friend , so he stops on the way and starts talking with his friend – but all the time he remembers that my original purpose to get out of the house was to get the vegetables. He won’t forget that he has to get the vegetables, when he leaves his friend he will go get the vegetables. This shows that Allah Almighty has given him the ability to do two things at once – on one hand he was talking to his friend and inside his heart he was thinking that he has to get the vegetables.

2. Just like that when a student has any exam coming up -whether its a madrassa exam or college exam – when the exam is one week away, that student is in an examination-mode! Every second of the day he knows that his exam is coming up; that his examination is looming on top of him – he might be stopping to eat something; drink something; he might be driving  on the way to the library – but every second he knows that I have this exam coming up. So, this means that a person has this ability to process something at the background.

3-Just like in a computer, you have windows. Windows is the operating system, it is always running at the background no matter what programs you put over it windows never stops functioning, its always there in the background – just like that a true believer in his heart always remembers Allah Almighty. No matter what he is doing, he has a cord attached from his heart to Allah Almighty.

This is why our Spiritual Teachers say that ”that moment in which a person forgets Allah Almighty, it is as if he is a disbeliever!” Because if you open up his heart – its empty and if you open up the heart of a disbeliever, its also empty(of the remembrance of Allah Almighty). So, the only difference between us and a disbeliever is of the remembrance of Allah Almighty.

Now, how to do this Wuqoof e qalbi? How can we practically focus our heart on Allah Almighty?

To do   Wuqoof e qalbi means that we focus our attention on our heart and then we focus our heart on Allah Almighty. So, the first thing is that we have to be aware that we have this heart inside of us, until we don’t know the importance of the heart, we will even forget that we have a heart inside of us. So many verses of the Nobel Qur’an and Ahadith instill the importance of our heart, so if we know that we have this valuable precious thing inside of us then we should focus our attention on our heart through out the day and then focus our heart on Allah Almighty.

And, the way to do this is to think about Allah Almighty at all times. This abundant remembrance ; this 24-hour Remembrance, it just means to think about Allah Almighty; to remember Allah Almighty at all times.

Anything that comes in front of us through out the day, anything that we do – we have to make it a means of remembering Allah Almighty

E.g. If we’re doing something with our family, then while we are with our family we should look at them and view them as a blessing of Allah Almighty and immediately that will lead us to remember Allah Almighty.

Everything that we do, we have to seek a means of making it a way for us to think about Allah Almighty. We are exactly the opposite.

– If we sit in the masjid, we find some means to think about the Material world; if we are standing in prayer, some way our nafs finds  something to think about the world; If we are reading  Qur’an, our nafs finds someway to make us think about the world.

So, just like the Material world  is so overpowering on us that we are always thinking about it – Wuqoof e qalbi means that we have to make Allah Almighty overpowering in our life. We have to bring Allah Almighty back into our life. We have to reconcile that distant Lord. We have to stay away from those things that keep us from Allah Almighty – so through out the day, each and every thing that comes in front of us, we should use it as a means to think about Allah Almighty.

One of the things that the Spiritual Teachers prescribe to assist us in this is that for everything we do, we must form a  niyyah; an intention.

For E.g.

1. We should  memorize all the Sunnah duas for each and every action – the Duas before eating; the Duas after eating, the Dua before entering the masjid; the Dua before leaving the masjid , the Duas before sleeping

2. In addition to that, before performing any action we should make an intention in our heart. Link every action we do to Allah Almighty.

For example When we recite the dua before eating – بسم الله و على بركت الله . At the same time, we should link that act of eating to Allah Almighty, and make this intention that, ‘O Allah Almighty! I’m eating this food with the intention that I will get enough strength from this food; I will get enough nourishment from this food so that i can use this strength and nourishment ; in Your worship;  in Your remembrance.

So, each and everything we do, while we recite the Sunnah Dua that is affiliated with that action,we can alongside make an intention that somehow joins that action to Allah Almighty.

2. When we sleep and recite the Sunnah dua before sleeping, ” اللهم باسمك اموت و احيا”; at the same time we should make an intention and link that act of sleeping back to Allah Almighty. Say that, ‘O my Allah Almighty! I lay myself down to sleep, so that I may get enough rest from sleeping so that I may rise fresh in Your worship, so that I may rise for night prayer; so that I can remember you at these special times.

So, each and everything in our life, whether it is a worldly thing or a religious thing – we should make an intention for it and link that intention back to Allah Almighty. And this will be a test for us that anything that we cannot make an intention; anything in our life that we cannot link to Allah Almighty- know that it has some level of sin; that thing has some level of forgetfulness; that thing is somehow keeping us away from Allah Almighty. Because through the best of our ability,if we cannot link it to Allah Almighty, it means that that thing is clearly a ghyrullah; that thing is other than Allah Almighty; that thing will make us distant from Allah Almighty; that thing will distract us from Allah Almighty. So, each and every thing in our life, we have to link it to Allah Almighty.

Another way to do Wuqoof e qalbi: Think our heart is saying Allah Allah Allah

Another way of doing Wuqoof e qalbi is to actually think that our heart is saying Allah Allah Allah. This is when we have free moments of time.

For example

– Many of us, when we sit on a bus, we have no books with us; we have nothing to do! we just sit for one hour on that bus. So, normally what a person does is that he processes different thoughts – he starts thinking about different things or sometimes he just goes blank; he just goes empty, he doesn’t think about anything for one hour – he wedges out.

Why?

We should make use of that time – spend that time in Wuqoof e qalbi; maybe it is too awkward in front of the people sitting in the bus to actually do  muraqba (silent remembrance and reflection of the heart) but at least while sitting there we should just think about Allah Almighty –

Think anyway we can about Allah Almighty- the doors of ijtehad are open to us in Wuqoof e qalbi. We can make better intentions than the ones already mentioned – we can link each and every action in better and better ways each and every day with Allah Almighty.

We can find newer ways to think of Allah Almighty.

For example

  •  Just looking up at the sky, its vastness, and thinking ‘O my Lord! You are even vaster than this!’
  • Look up at the stars and think, O Allah Almighty! Forgive me for my sins which maybe greater than the stars
  • We can look at the stars and think, O Allah Almighty! I praise You as much as there are stars in the sky
  • We can look at the sand and beaches and think, O Allah Almighty! I love You more than there are grains of sand in the beaches
Just like a lover thinks about his beloved at all times; a true believer thinks about his Beloved Allah Almighty at all times!
We should find newer ways to remember Allah Almighty; just like when a young man falls in worldly love with a strange woman, he thinks about her at all times in strange ways – he is thinking about her everyday; he never tires of thinking about her. Just like that, a true believer is in love with Allah Almighty.
 وَالَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ
(And those who believe are stronger in their love for Allah)[ 2:165]
That know that the characteristics of believers is that they are crazy and mad about their Lord! – they adore Allah Almighty; they are in love with Allah Almighty!
What is the requirement of love? that we think about your beloved at all times.
Use our own creativity; use our own ingenuity; think carefully – try and try to think and remember about Allah Almighty in more and more different ways. This is all that it means by Wuqoof e qalbi- thinking about Allah Almighty at any moment that we can and making sure we don’t forget Allah Almighty at any moment in time!
Why?  because Allah Almighty’s wujood (His Presence) is so Great and on top of that He Gives us His Proximity; His nearness; His Companionship; His Closeness to us! How can we forget Allah Almighty? How undeserving will we be? How deceitful will we be?
وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ
(They have not appraised Allah Almighty with true appraisal) [39:67]
It means that they did not truly fulfill the rights of Allah Almighty as they were supposed to. So, one meaning is this that (it befits Him that) we should’ve been thinking about Him at all times!
Benefits of Wuqoof e qalbi
  • It will improve our Salah because if a person comes on the Prayer rug to pray Salah and says his takbeer e tehreema ( Allahu akbar) and if all day he was forgetful of Allah Almighty then just by doing this, he has to do 100% of the work. But if, throughout the day, he remembered Allah Almighty   – if he remembered Allah Almighty 20% of the day, then he has to do 80% of the work, if he remembered Allah Almighty 50% of the time, now he has to do only 50% of the work and if he remembered Allah Almighty all day long then now when he comes for his Salah, its very easy for him to concentrate in Salah or it will be very easy for him to focus in silent remembrance of the heart muraqba; its very easy for him to detach himself from the material world and reflect on Allah Almighty because while he was in the Material world, he kept himself attached to Allah Almighty by way of Wuqoof e qalbi (vigilance of the heart)
  • It gives  a (real) perspective on the material world because once we detach ourselves  from the material world; once we disengage ourselves from the material world, the reality of the material world will open up in front of us – when we sit and  do Wuqoof e qalbi      in a gathering; when we remember Allah Almighty in a gathering then the nature of that gathering will be opened up in front of us. E.g. A person who stopped watching T.V. and leaves T.V. for 10 years, then when he walks into a house and sees people watching T.V., the scene looks so strange to him. He looks at these people; he looks at these pictures on the screen and thinks what are these people doing watching this screen. But, that person who regularly watches T.V., it seems like something normal to him. Why? Because the reality of that act; the reality of the forgetfulness and heedlessness of the act is unveiled in front of that person who remembers Allah Almighty. So, the more we remember Allah Almighty, the reality of our material world will be exposed to us and then we will be able to detach ourselves from the material world. Unless we attach ourselves to Allah Almighty, we wont be able to detach ourselves from the material world.
  • It becomes very difficult to sin because normally when a person sins, he sins in a state of forgetfulness. If we ask any young man who committed a sin, that at the moment when you were sinning , were you remembering Allah Almighty? He’ll say at that time I wasn’t remembering Allah Almighty, I even forgot that I was even a Muslim! I had no recollection of Allah Almighty; I even forgot the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon Him); I even forgot that I am someone who has read the kalima. I was so absorbed/intoxicated/lost/drunken in my sin. But, a person who remembers Allah Almighty throughout the day, when he is in a state of remembrance, it is very difficult to commit a sin because at that time he is attached to Allah Almighty; how can one be attached to Allah Almighty and commit a sin at the same time? Either he’ll have to break that attachment or he’ll have to break off that sin. So, those of us who want to leave our sins, an easy way to do that is to do Wuqoof e qalbi  ; is to increase in pausing our heart in the perpetual remembrance of Allah Almighty.

…to be continued, InshaAllah.

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3 Comments

  1. Zener says:

    MashAllah, may Allah bless Shaykh Kamaluddin. What a wonderful explaination.

  2. Fatima says:

    This was beautifully explained Masha Allah. What if after taubah the person commits the same sin again?

  3. Z.A. Support Z.A. Support says:

    Assalamualikum WRWB, Dear Fatimah one should never give up on tawbah. iA the more you make tawbah the more the chances would be for your true talab to call upon the Rahmah of Allah S.W.T. and He may grant you nijaat from that sin. If Satan doesn’t give up on us why in the world should we give up on tawbah and the Mercy of Allah. That in no way implies that persisting on sinning, with the hope that Allah will forgive, is jaiz. It is not appropriate to think like this.

    Allah knows best.

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